Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2005-06 Toronto Maple Leafs Darcy Tucker Jersey

Darcy Tucker, born on this date in 1975, burst onto the hockey landscape as he was a member of the Kamloops Blazers three Memorial Cup championships in four years, winning the Canadian junior national championship in 1992, 1994 and 1995, including winning the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the Memorial Cup tournament MVP in 1994.

Tucker would play in only 26 games, scoring 13 points his first season with Kamloops, but his point totals would jump to 31 goals and 89 points, along with 155 penalty minutes to illustrate his fiery demeanor and agitating style in 1992-93 to a 52 goal, 140 point season in 1993-94. Tucker would push his goal totals to 64 in 1994-95 on his way to a 137 point season.

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Tucker was a three-time Memorial Cup champion with the Blazers

He was selected by the Montreal Canadiens during the 1993 NHL Entry Draft late in the sixth round and assigned to the Fredericton Canadiens of the American Hockey League for the 1995-96 season, There, he would play in 74 games, scoring 29 goals and 93 points with 174 penalty minutes, which earned him the Dudley Garrett Memorial Award as the AHL Rookie of the Year. Tucker would also make his NHL debut with three games with Montreal that year.

Tucker would spend the entire 1996-97 season in the NHL with Montreal, playing in 73 games, which included scoring his first NHL goal on his way to an eventual 7 goals and 20 points while amassing 110 penalty minutes, which was third on the club.

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Tucker broke into the NHL with the Canadiens

After spending the first half of the 1997-98 season with the Canadiens, with just a lone goal and 5 assits in 39 games, Tucker was involved in a six player deal which sent him to the Tampa Bay Lightning for the final 35 games of the season.

With just 14 goals over the previous two seasons, Tucker's offensive game took a step forward in 1998-99, as he had his first of six 20 goal seasons with 21. He added 22 assists for 43 points, more than he had scored in his two previous seasons combined, all this despite setting a career high in penalty minutes with 176.

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Tucker spent parts of three seasons with the Lightning

Tucker was on pace for similar numbers in 1999-00, but after 50 games with the Lightning he was once again involved in a trade, one which sent him back across the Canadian border, this time to the Toronto Maple Leafs. There, he became a fan favorite thanks to his agitating, scrappy and hard-hitting style of play combined with his ability to contribute offensively, not unlike a Wendel Clark for a new generation, appropriate because Clark was back with the Maple Leafs for the final 20 games of his career at the time.

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Tucker spent eight season in the blue of the Maple Leafs

The move to Toronto also reintroduced Tucker to the playoffs, as the Lightning had not qualified for the postseason during his time in Tampa Bay while Toronto would be regulars in the playoffs for the next five seasons.

Tucker would set new personal bests in 2001-02 with 24 goals and 59 points, as well as contributing another 4 goals and 8 points in 17 playoff games as the Maple Leafs would reach the conference finals.

Three seasons later he would set career highs with 28 goals and 61 points as well as accumulating 100 penalty minutes, his seventh season of 100 or more minutes.

He would back that up with another 24 goals in 2006-07 and record his eighth and final 100 penalty minute season in 2007-08.

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Tucker has the upper hand vs Sean Avery

Tucker would become an unrestricted free agent when Toronto bought out the remainder of his contract after the 2007-08 season, which led to him signing with the Colorado Avalanche for the final two seasons of his career before retiring after 14 seasons in the NHL.

Tucker's final NHL totals were 947 games played, 215 goals and 261 assists for 476 points and 1,410 penalty minutes, which earned him the title as a "love him or hate him" type of player. You loved him if he was on your team, and hated him if he was playing against your team.

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There is no shortage of pictures of an intense Darcy Tucker

Today's featured jersey is a 2005-06 Toronto Maple Leafs Darcy Tucker jersey as worn during the best offensive season of Tucker's career when he set highs in both goals (28) and points (61).

The Maple Leafs first wore this jersey during the 1998-99 season commemorating the closing of their long time home, Maple Leaf Gardens. It was revived for the 2000-01 season and worn through the 2006-07 season when the production demands of the new Reebok Edge jerseys dictated that teams were not able to have an alternate jersey during the 2007-08 season. Despite the hiatus, this style returned as the club's third jersey for 2008-09 and 2009-10.

Rare among NHL alternate jerseys, the Maple Leafs jersey was a second white jersey for the club, as most alternate styles promoted a secondary trim color as the main color of the team's alternate jersey.

Additionally, this jersey also has a patch on the front as worn once a year during the annual "Hall of Fame Game", which is hosted by the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on the Saturday prior to the Monday Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. During the 2005 Hall of Fame Game, the Maple Leafs defeated Tucker's former team and defending Stanley Cup champions Tampa Bay by a score of 5-3.

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Toronto Maple Leafs 2005-06 jersey photo Toronto Maple Leafs 2005-06 B jersey.jpg
Toronto Maple Leafs 2005-06 patch photo Toronto Maple Leafs 2005-06 patch.jpg

Bonus jersey: Today's bonus jersey is a 1997-98 Tampa Bay Lightning Darcy Tucker jersey as worn during Tucker's first season in Tampa Bay.

The "Stormy Weather" alternate was worn for three seasons, first in 1996-97. For the 1997-98 season the #12 shamrock patch was worn in support of player John Cullen, who was diagnosed with non-Hodkin's lymphoma. The 1998-99 season saw the Lighting wear the 1999 NHL All-Star Game patch all season long, but for some reason, the first half of the season saw the club elect to use their paintbrush numbers from their home and road jerseys until reverting to their electric numbers worn during the first two seasons of the alternate jersey, which properly fit with the thunder and lightning theme of the jerseys.

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Tampa Bay Alt 97-98 jersey photo Tampa Bay Alt 97-98 B.jpg

Today's video section begins with a thunderous hit by Tucker on the Flyer's Sami Kapanen.

Here is a hellacious brawl between Tucker and the notorious Darius Kasparitis, which ends when referee Mick McGeough roughs up Tucker!

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